We have finally made it to the end of what has been for all of us a very challenging and exhausting year. Despite our period of home schooling and the uncertainty and lack of familiar routines that our children experienced due to COVID-19, there have been great learning and accomplishments that have occurred here at school over the course of this year. Student achievements, across the school, in writing have been noteworthy; the selection of a number of students into the diocesan ASPIRE program and Virtual Academy are others; reaching the national championships in the First Lego League is another as is the opening, way back in March, of our amazing new playground and the way that Live Streaming and ‘Zooming’ has been utilised in order to keep our school and families connected.
I would like to extend my immense thanks to all our parents who supported their children with their home learning experiences earlier in the year. We know, for many of you, that you were thrown in at the deep end and were left shaking your heads and wondering how you ended up becoming primary school teachers - something that was probably never on many of your radars and probably never will be, after this year! Without your openness and preparedness to have a go, your children’s learning could have been significantly impacted. Thank you also for all the support and gratitude you conveyed to myself and the staff for all the hard work that went on behind the scenes at this time. We really appreciated it.
Thank you to those families who will be leaving our community this year. Thank you for entrusting the care and education of your children to us. It has been a great honour to care for and educate them and to share this role with you. We wish you all the best in the future and hope you will hold fond memories of St Joseph’s throughout your lives.
My unlimited thanks also goes to our incredible staff, who worked so tirelessly throughout a year like no other. Not only was the teaching they provided to your children amazing but what they achieved in this year, in terms of their own professional learning was equally amazing and the children here at St Joseph’s, for many years to come, will continue to reap the benefits of this learning. The passion all our staff have for the children and their wellbeing is obvious every day and it is a privilege to be part of such a caring community.
A huge thank you goes to Renata Powell, Stephanie Colvin and Nicole Charnock. I am indebted to them for their immense support, both personally and professionally, this year. They are an incredible leadership team and I could not have managed this year without them.
Lastly, I wish to thank all our students. Thank you for being the polite, thoughtful young people that you are and for the wonderful smiles that you greet me and all other members of our community with. It makes all of us on the receiving end of these smiles feel very special and gives a lift to our day. You have shown great resilience this year and I look forward to another amazing year with you in 2021.
God of wisdom,
We thank you for all the gifts you have given us throughout this school year. We praise you for giving us life, for saving us in Christ, and for choosing us to be your people.
As we come to the end of this school year, we voice our gratitude for the good things you have done in us, and we praise you for all who have shared in the work of this school.
We ask that you bless them in your love and give them refreshment and peace. We praise you, God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns forever and ever.
Merry Christmas to you all and best wishes for a safe, happy and holy holiday season.
School Concert Band
On Monday we were entertained by our school concert band. This has been the first time this year that they have been able to perform for us on such a scale and what a terrific performance it was! To think that our band students and Howard Ward, our band instructor, were able to get so many pieces together, including Christmas Carols, When the Saints Come Marching In and Bohemian Rhapsody and to sound as good as they did was an outstanding accomplishment. Due to the COVID restrictions certain instrumental lessons throughout the year were unable to take place, a large number of our students were unable to keep up lessons during lockdown and when we could start back up it was with restrictions that meant that the band couldn’t actually practise together. So, all in all – it really was incredible that they were able to perform to the standard they did. Congratulations to Howard and all the band students - we are very proud of you!
It would be fantastic if we could double our numbers next year to get a truly amazing concert band together. We have lost a number of senior band members as they are heading off to high school, so we are looking for some new recruits. Any child that is in Year 3 – Year 5 next year would be very welcome to join the band. No experience is necessary. See the attached flyer if your child is interested.
In 2022 the diocese will be introducing instrumental bands as part of the ASPIRE program for the first time. If your child has been a part of the school band they will be eligible to try out for a spot in one of these diocesan bands.
2021 Starting Dates
|Wednesday 27th January||Staff Development Day (all schools)|
|Thursday 28th January||Staff Development Day (all schools)|
|Friday 29th January||Year 2 - Year 6 students commence school|
|Monday 1st February||Year 1 students commence school|
|Monday 1st February||Kindergarten Teddy Bears Picnic (optional) Centennial Park|
|Tuesday 2nd February||Kindergarten students commence school|
|(Those with siblings start at 9.00am and remaining students to start at 9.20am)|
Please read the attached letter from Gerard Mowbray, the Director of Catholic Schools, in regard to the additional staff development day at the beginning of the year.
Our teachers for next year are:
|KB||Stephanie Colvin & Anne-Maree Mantach (Thursday)||KG||Gabriele Carney|
|1B||Leanne Skinner & Anne Maree Mantach (Wednesday)||1G||Carolyn Delore|
|2B||Felicity Peart (Mon-Wed) & Nicola Matheson (Thur-Fri)||2G||Jane Scott (Mon-Tues) & Joanne Standing (Wed-Fri)|
|3B||Peter Watson||3G||Nicole Charnock (Mon,Tue & Fri) & Belinda Parkes (Wed-Thur)|
|4B||Donna McMillan||4G||Fiona McCalden|
|5B||Laura Slattery||5G||Zoe Parish|
|6B||Renata Powell (Mon, Tues & Fri) & Leah Temple (Wed-Thur)||6G||Jeremy Watt|
|Learning Support Teacher||Belinda Pearson|
|Teacher Librarian||Dee Milgate|
|Music Dance & Drama||Olivia Moss|
Over the past few weeks our Year 5 students have been engaged in the process of nominating, writing speeches and delivering of speeches, all as part of the student leadership process. They are to be commended for their sensible approach they have taken, and for how they have been supportive of one another, throughout the process. Last Friday our outgoing school captains, Nina Amidy and Max Mitchell, as part of the Year 6 Graduation Liturgy handed over the school candle as a symbol of the transference of student leadership to the incoming group of leaders. Ivy Jones and Jack Simpson, our 2021 school captains, accepted this candle on behalf of their student leadership team. Early next year, we will have a ceremony for all the new leaders, and we hope that by then we will be able to have our parent community join us for this special occasion. Thank you to all our 2020 student leaders for the fine job you have done this year and congratulations to our 2021 leaders.
|Ivy Jones||School Captain|
|Jack Simpson||School Captain|
|Bonnie Petersen||School Vice Captain|
|Carter Allan||School Vice Captain|
|Cate Hayes||Student Leader|
|Miriam Biswas||Student Leader|
|Eva Cootes||Student Leader|
|Isaac Flanagan||Student Leader|
|Chase Firman||Student Leader|
|Patrick Aguado||Student Leader|
|Red House||Green House|
|Abby Booth||Lucy Webber|
|Maverick Ford||Zachary McGready|
|Blue House||Gold House|
|Eden Buxton||Shiloh Flynn|
|Isaac Leonard||Oliver Moran|
School Fee Credit
Due to COVID -19, the majority of incursions and excursions that were planned for this year were unable to take place. For this reason we have credited $70.00 per student to all families from Kinder – Year 5.
Semester 2 Student Council
We would like to acknowledge and thank our members of the Student Council for Semester 2. These students have done a fine job representing their classes and we are very grateful for their time and effort. The initiatives that these students have discussed have been varied and their feedback on how we can improve practices across the school have always been very beneficial. Thank you once again to the students below!
Year 2 Gold
Archie Doyle, Jersey Firman
Year 2 Blue
Gabriel Farrow, Grace Waddell
Year 3 Blue
Hugh Stathis, Addison Tutton
Year 3 Gold
Ari Azzopardi-Johnson, Frankie Long
Year 4 Blue
Edie Callinan, Spencer Smith
Year 4 Gold
Lucas Ponte, Leila Waddell
Year 5 Blue
Isaac Leonard, Ivy Jones
Year 5 Gold
Miriam Biswas, Peter Higgins
Year 6 Blue
Kolby Barr, Ivy Kiem
Year 6 Gold
Hannah Francis, Luca Pasvolsky
As we have heard many times, 2020 has been a year like no other. Thinking about the many changes and challenges we have experienced, we also reflect on the good that has come our way. The pandemic has afforded us the time to slow down, to drop different activities and to cherish, even more, the time we spend with those we love. Education changed significantly and it was amazing to see how, as a community, we adapted. The children’s resilience and ‘just get on with things’ attitude has been so evident. We are very fortunate with the community we have here at St Joseph’s and for the way we support each other. Together we have made it through! Thank you for the many contributions you have made this year.
I wish everyone a very relaxing holiday break. Enjoy the later breakfasts, reprieve from washing and ironing uniforms and packing school lunches. As we remember the birth of Jesus, may Christmas be a time of celebration, joy and peace for your family. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Looking forward to seeing everyone in 2021!
Christ our Joy,
Brighten our hearts with your presence.
May we see your joy in the hopes and dreams of our sisters and brothers around the world.
Help us to spread your light and love.
We await your coming with delight.
Christmas Mass Times
Christmas Eve – Thursday 24th December
|5.00 pm||The Junction|
|5.30 pm||The Hill|
|6.00 pm||Mayfield West|
|7.00 pm||The Junction|
|10.00 pm||Cathedral (Polish)|
Christmas Day – Friday 25th December
|7.30 am||The Hill|
|8.00 am||Tighes Hill|
|9.00 am||The Junction|
|10.30 am||Broadmeadow (Italian)|
|11.30 am||Cathedral (Polish)|
|5.30 pm||Mayfield West (Vietnamese)|
Registration for St Joseph’s Christmas Masses - https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/christmas-mass-st-josephs-the-junction-registration-128741349843
Please see the Parish Bulletin for more details and registration for Masses in our area - https://www.newcastlecatholic.org.au/weekly-bulletins/
Premier’s Reading Challenge
2020 certificates were sent home this week for all students who completed the 2020 reading challenge. Great effort everyone.
Special congratulations to the following students who received a GOLD AWARD for completing the challenge four times: Sofia Halverson, Skylar He, Harry Hillard, Joshua Hillard, Addison Lardner, Alexandria Mavros, Eleanor McConkey, Audrey Owens, Patrick Ryba, Alexander Seysener, James Shrewsbury, Akshya Silampathy Sankaran, Max Stapleton, Chloe Webber, Hannah Webber, Luca Wildschut, Darcy Williams, Ella Wilson, Isabella Yau.
An amazing result for these students who have been awarded a PLATINUM AWARD for completing the challenge for 7 years!
Hannah Francis, Ivy Kiem, Myfanwy McMahon, Lachlan Mooney, Emily Simpson, Charisse Watters-Cowan, Ava Williams.
You can start your reading log for the 2021 Premier’s Reading Challenge now.
Happy holiday reading.
Howard Ward Music
It's not too late, there are still positions available in our Concert Band for 2021. If your child would like to be a part of our fabulous Concert Band please phone
Howard Ward 0419 663 389 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You don't have to buy an instrument, maybe rent (for 6 months) to see how they go.
Most of the rental money paid will come off the purchase price.
From Sunday 13 December there will be improvements to Newcastle Transport timetables.
While there have been no changes to dedicated school service routes, some minor adjustments have been made to timetables to better reflect congestion and actual travel times to and from schools around the Newcastle Transport area.
School students who use Newcastle Transport dedicated school services or regular routes will need to check their timetables to and from school prior to the changes commencing Monday 14 December (Term 4, Week 10).
Information on Trip Planner and other transport planning apps is now available, to align with Transport for NSW’s Trip Planning service. Parents and students can easily check their timetable by following these three simple steps:
- Visit https://newcastletransport.info/plan-your-trip/school-services
- Type your school name into the search field
- Select your school bus route to download the PDF timetable that will be effective from 13 December.
Unless otherwise stated, the advertisements placed in this newsletter are placed by independent third parties who have no legal relationship with the Diocese. The activities or services of the advertisers are not supervised or controlled in any way by the Diocese. The Diocese is not in a position to endorse the advertisers or the services provided and makes no representation about those matters. Accordingly, the Diocese cannot accept any responsibility for the advertisers or the activities or services that are the subject of these advertisements